Did you know that you can now create accessible web and eLearning content that includes rich media? Have you wanted to use rich media content but were concerned about policy or accessibility issues? If so, check out the accessibility features built into Adobe® Flash® Professional CC and Flash Player 11 software.
The design techniques and developer resources on this page will help you get started creating rich media content with accessibility in mind.
Enhanced Video support
Flash Professional CC allows developers to deliver accessible video through support for a new World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) caption data standard (TTML) in its FLVPlaybackCaptioning component and through accessible player controls for FLV and H.264 video.
Adobe® Flash® Professional CC software offers the most complete set of tools available for authoring accessible rich media applications. With an array of features to aid in the authoring of accessible content and support resources at the Adobe Accessibility Resource Center, designers and developers can now make the best experience on the web available to everyone.
With Adobe Flash Player 11 software, the first rich media player to make rich media accessible to people with disabilities is now enhanced to make the best experience on the web even better. Using Flash Player 11, people with visual disabilities may now access the web using either Window-Eyes from GW Micro or JAWS from Freedom Scientific. With new support for scripting and a powerful new set of accessible components, as well as support materials from the Adobe Flash accessibility design guidelines, designers and developers can create accessible rich media in ways never before possible.
Flash Player 11 has integrated support for Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA). MSAA serves as a bridge between Flash Player 11 and screen access technologies such as the Window-Eyes screen reader from GW Micro. It allows designers and developers to script this information and update it as the content changes — thus allowing accessibility in more flexible and powerful applications.
Designers and developers can provide accessibility information in Flash Professional CC using either the Accessibility pane within the Properties panel or ActionScript®. A Properties panel allows text equivalents to be specified for elements of movies. Shown below, the Accessibility pane within the Properties panel allows designers and developers to specify a brief descriptive text equivalent in the Name field. In cases where a longer text equivalent is needed, it is placed in the Description field. MSAA then passes this information to assistive technologies.
The Accessibility pane within the Properties panel in Flash Professional CC also offers designers and developers control over the accessibility of individual elements or even a group of elements. Using the Make Object Accessible and Make Child Objects Accessible options, designers and developers can hide individual elements that present no content. In addition, they can specify a single text equivalent for a group of elements when the relationship among the elements, and not their individual identities, is significant. For example, in an animation of the solar system, a single text equivalent describing the movement of the planets may be more appropriate than individual elements for each planet.
square1_btn.accessibilityProperties = new AccessibilityProperties(); square1_btn.accessibilityProperties.name = "home"; Accessibility.updateProperties();
All of the information that is assigned using the Accessibility pane within the Properties panel may also be assigned via ActionScript. Learn more about coding accessibility information via ActionScript by consulting the Flash Professional CC documentation.
The Adobe Accessibility Resource Center provides a number of documents that offer tips and techniques to designers and developers who seek to create accessible rich media content. Visit the Accessibility Resource Center to find information on adding text equivalents in Flash, working with buttons, accessibility hints, adding animation, frequently asked questions, ActionScript and accessibility, and captioning in Flash Professional CC. This site will be updated periodically with new tools and information to support accessible design in Flash Professional CC.
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If you have questions or comments or want to get involved with Adobe’s accessibility efforts, contact us. We welcome your feedback.